Looking for some love online? Turning to the internet to get a date before Valentine’s Day? Here are our top three evidence-based tips for online dating.

 

1. Guys: Add a sentence that showcases your ambitions, and have your profile picture focus on your FACE.

 

man working at deskA study of young college-aged women in the European Journal of Social Psychology by Rajees Sritharan
found that women on online dating sites were more likely to choose men who listed ambitious future plans. They specifically used the example of a man who said he planned to finish law school because it was important to him, versus a man who said he was leaving because it was too competitive. Where do you see yourself in five years, and what are you doing to work towards that?

 

Let the ladies know.
The same study showed that facial attractiveness was a biggie. So don’t post that obnoxious pecs-flex: focus in on your FACE.

 

2. Take it easy, and be ready to play the long-game.

 

couple neck kissRelationships started online tend to have higher failure rates, according to a 2014 a study in Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. But this doesn’t mean they’re a bad way to meet someone: according to social information processing theory (SIPT), online relationships may just take longer to develop. If you keep the relationship on the internet longer, you’re actually likely to get more information about the person than you would’ve in the same face to face time.
This is because online relationships lack many physical, nonverbal communication cues, so people end up using more verbal information to build intimacy. In other words, online, people overshare, and this is a plus for you. It also means you’re more likely to form a relationship with someone special whom societal rules and geography might normally block you from meeting.
SIPT has been confirmed in studies on both US and Japanese dating sites.

3. Once you get to “Facebook” status, DO say you’re in a relationship.

 

couple huggingA study in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking by Dr. Catalina Toma and Mina Choi found that relationship commitment and longevity correlated positively with listing “In a relationship” on Facebook. This fits with the public commitment theory, which basically says that what you publicly commit to, you’re more likely to do.

 

 

Like this advice? We’ve got a whole list of posts filled with relationship advice. Check it out now!

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Jen Finelli is a world-traveling scifi author who’s ridden a motorcycle in a tropical monsoon, crawled into a flaming car, found Greek wall-poetry in a city’s underground tunnels, gotten locked in a German nunnery, showered under a jungle mountain waterfall, and eaten with wonderful people on four continents. She’ll have her MD complete in 2017, right after she releases her novel about a comic book character who shoots his author. Check her out on twitter @petr3pan, or on her website, where she got a bunch of authors to give away free stories you can steal at http://byjenfinelli.com/what-you-get-five-free-reads-just-because/

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